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Archive for January, 2012

Ode to Peanut Butter

So today I reached a place of overwhelm.  Feeling stuck in a place of too much to do, not enough time.  Thoughts of, “I’m not good enough for this blogging stuff, BLAH< BLAH< BLAH.  So upon the advice of my wise husband (if you read this, Kenny, don’t let it go to your head ), I took a creative fun break.  He says, “Walk away from it for a while and do something else fun!”

The man is a genious.  It was a success and after much wordplay and laughter with my 9 year old son the “ODE to Peanut Butter” was born.

I think we all need a good comedy time out from time to time so here it is.  I hope it brings you as much laughter as it brought us.

 

Ode to Peanut Butter

 

Crunchy or Creamy

You make me feel dreamy

 

By yourself or with jelly

You’re loved in my belly

 

Oh peanut butter,  you’re cream of the crop

When I get to eating, I don’t want to stop

 

I love you on bread and I love you with celery

If you’re ever taken it should be a felony

 

On white or on wheat, or even on rye

Without you I feel like my life’s gone awry

 

You’re loved by my sister and even my dog

If I find some raisins, you’ll make ants on a log

 

You stick to my mouth and you stick to my fingers

Your flavor’s so luscious. I love when it lingers

 

You’re useful in cookies and in Thai cuisine

On apples, with chocolate, Oh, you’re in my dreams.

 

You glorious food, simply made from a nut

There is nothing finer to place in my gut

 

My friend,  I can’t wait

Please give me a plate

Oh, disshhh ish ammashing

Ish Schmuckly, shmo myummy

Dere’sh jush nommin byetter

Inshmide my tyummy!

 

 

 

 

 

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What does it mean to be strong in a masculine world?

Well, in a patriarchal society, it means to be physically strong, it means to be all knowing…able to provide all the answers, and it means to be in control. In short, it means to be like God.

I was raised to be a strong, independent woman.  But, here’s the problem:   I was raised to be strong in a masculine way in a masculine world…and…unless I have been severely mistaken so far…I’m NOT a man.

I was raised in a strict Roman Catholic household. My mother ran the household. She took on the roles of homemaker, caretaker, disciplinarian, and wife. She was strong in her own will and I was ‘trained’ as a child to defer to the will of mother and to the will of God. As she deferred her own will to the will of a masculine God, I ultimately was raised to do the same.

Under the rules of this masculine God, my first duty as a woman was to submit to the will of man. I was to follow the rules and do what I was asked to do without discussion. I was of course created ‘from man and for man’. I was a woman, made from a rib of Adam for the sole purpose of providing him with companionship and offspring. It was expected that I was to marry and raise children and keep my husband (and only my husband) happy and satisfied sexually, but only have sex for the sake of procreation.   But there’s more!

As a woman, I was also a female like Eve and as such I was weak. It was Eve’s (women’s) weakness of will power that led to the fall of not only Adam but of all men.

Even with my religion aside, It was obvious to me that I was of the ‘weaker’ sex.

Men held the power in society and they were physically stronger than women. They were presidents, military leaders, and CEO’s, and had a majority of the control and decision making power in our society.  And not only that, the ‘weakness’ of my gender was also, literally, in my face every time I cried or lost control of my emotions.

My dad didn’t cry. Other men didn’t cry. Crying, after all, happens when you lose control. Men were strong enough to remain in control of their feelings. I apparently was not, but I was a woman. I was allowed to cry because I was a female…enough said.

Conclusion:   MEN: POWERFUL AND STRONG,   WOMEN: SUBMISSIVE, SUPPORTIVE, AND WEAK

But I didn’t want to be weak!  I wanted to be able to prove to the world that I was strong despite the fact that I was female.

I went to college and got educated.  My diploma, presented to me by a man,  proved to me that I now had permission to speak strongly and confidently on the things that I was educated on.  I could now provide others with some answers.  I lifted weights to be physically stronger and felt my internal sense of power grow.  And, I controlled my emotions as much as I could.  I tried my hardest not to cry. I tried to remain stoic in the face of grief, in the face of pain, and even in the face of extreme joy.  Anger came roaring out from time to time, but this emotion was not OK as it was forceful and aggressive and definitely NOT feminine.  I was supposed to keep the peace and be gentle and loving at all times.  So, I locked up my emotions in an effort to prove to the world that, although I was a female, I too was strong.

I was battling through life and feeling stronger all the time.    But I never stopped to consider that I was a woman playing a man’s game.

And then the Goddess entered my life, the divine feminine.  It was then that I realized that it was possible for me to be a woman and play a woman’s game. Through the feminine, I found a strength that was deeper and more real to me than any of the strengths that I was trying to achieve. I found the strength and voice of the feminine.

Ironically, most of these feminine strengths are viewed as weaknesses and, as women, we do whatever we can to avoid them.  We have become so programmed in this masculine game that we cannot even see our feminine strengths.

As I said in the previous post, It is time for us as women to start playing our own game.  We must recognize our strengths and bring them forward to balance the masculine.  Let us be confidently and powerfully feminine!  

WOMEN:  We are strong in our softness and in the movement of our emotions!  We are strong in our roles as hearth holders and space holders! We are strong in our ability to create and nurture life.  These are the three strengths that I will discuss in coming posts.

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Gender Harmony image from justbeewellness.com

Calling All Women! This patriarchal world is unbalanced!  The world needs us! 

We live in a patriarchal world, one that is controlled by a masculine God.

This masculine God was and is all powerful.  He is strong. He is an omnipotent, all knowing being to lead us, to guide us, and to provide us with all the answers. He is a father figure in control of all things…an unlimited creator. We have developed a society around the strengths of the masculine. Who would blame us? Who would not want to be supported by this? The masculine is strong and can be a powerful protector. We feel safe in the protective arms of our father.

This masculine God has been in control for thousands of years.  Our kings, queens, and presidents, the leaders of our countries throughout the modern ages, have embraced the power of the masculine God. They have emulated this king of kings. They have led and protected their people with physical and military strength. They have provided their people with laws of conduct and answers to problems. They have maintained control of themselves and their realm. They have used the strengths of the masculine to create strong and powerful countries.

So I’m in  no way dissing God here or anything, but here we are, in the 21st century, with countries still fighting for power and feelings of safety?

So what’s up?

The strength of the masculine does create a feeling of safety. However, this strength, unchecked, also has the power to cause harm. It has the power to kill with detachment, to enslave, to repress, and to destroy. Without balance, the strength and force of the masculine can be wounding. Our current society has been operating with a strong, unchecked masculine power for centuries and has become unbalanced. We can see the wounds all around us. Our modern day history is rife with stories of rape, domestic abuse, repression and censorship, war, slavery, un-empowered women, and environmental abuse. To heal the wounds, we must create balance.

What provides a balance to this masculine power?

The feminine does.  That would be us ladies!  I have heard it said that behind every powerful man there is a powerful woman. I believe this is true. But,  I do not stay ‘behind’ my man. Neither do I compete and walk in front. A strong feminine is not competitive, but cooperative and collaborative. By working together instead of competing with one another, everyone wins.

Women!  Our spirit is collaborative and cooperative by nature.  We must reconnect to our feminine natures and step forward to provide balance to the omnipresent masculine!  But we can’t do it by playing a man’s game.  We must start playing our own game by our own rules.

Remember, real and true power and strength does not come from the masculine by itself, but from the balance and interconnectedness of the masculine and feminine powers together.

In my next three posts, I will discuss three core strengths of the feminine.  Strengths that we must reconnect to as women in order to bring balance, harmony, and strength to our world!  Let us be strong in the feminine and offer these strengths to the world.  The time is now!

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I have a whole new appreciation for those people throughout history who have spoken up for themselves and held their voice out to the world when they knew that they had the minority voice…Martin Luther King, Jr…Rosa Parks…

Inside, I know my point of view is valid and I feel so confident with my perspectives and know the world could be a better place with these thoughts out in the open.  I know also my voice is not the voice of the accepted norm in our society and it brings up all kinds of self-censorship.  Ironically, I just petitioned against SOPA because I do not believe in censorship.  I say with confidence, “no one has the right to censor me!!!”  I believe every voice matters.

So why do I censor myself?  

I was recently asked by a family member who was experiencing pain, “what do you think?”  OK, so I have a pre-med degree, experience with physical therapy, massage therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, Orthobionomy, Reiki, knowledge of the acupressure/acupuncture system, and over a decade of hands-on bodywork.  I have learned about the body from a mainstream scientific viewpoint as well as from an energetic perspective.  You could say I know a little about the body.  So I’m asked, “what do you think?” and all kinds of thoughts and perspectives start flooding in about where pain comes from, how it can be released, and even how pain is not bad and can be used as a tool to create wellness.

 So what do I respond?

“Could be lots of things” I say, adding a negating shrug for good measure.  I’ve apparently convinced myself that my perspective was not really wanted, so I went ahead and shut myself down before anyone else could.

What’s that all about?

I know that my voice and perspective is just as valid as anyone else’s voice AND I know I have a lot of experience on this subject matter.  So why can’t I speak up for myself?

And I did it again! I was at a party last night and met some new people who enthusiastically asked “what are you writing!?”

“Oh, uh, uh, well, uh, my unique thoughts on things…”

Way to go Vic!  Way to sell yourself!!  UGH!

Where’s the voice of confidence that I have with my husband and close friends?  I get outside of my little community of support and I totally choke, my confidence disappears and I feel like a bumbling idiot.

So after weeks of feeling ready to go into the world with my perspective and voice…to confidently take on the challenges and dissents of others…I see today that I will have to have a heart to heart with my own inner censor.

The majority used to think the world was flat.  The majority used to think the sun circled the Earth.  The majority used to think leeches were the cure-all.  So what if I’m not in the majority!  I will take a stand for myself and find the courage to speak my truths!  Whether or not they be majority or minority opinions, they are mine and I will stick behind them!  I’m tired of being controlled by my inner censor!  They say that you must be the change that you want to see in the world.  I will take notes from the Martin Luther King, Jr’s and the Rosa Park’s of the world and boldly stand my ground against my inner censor and soon, very soon, the world will hear my voice!

Here’s the kicker, Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated.  Rosa Parks was arrested.  I don’t want any of that to happen to me.  Yep, I’m afraid of ‘going public’ with a minority voice.  Logically, I don’t really think I will be killed or arrested or harmed, but I’m still afraid.

So I want to put a big thanks out to a friend who recently shared a thought with me.  It was: “Imagine what you could do if you weren’t afraid“.  WOW!I think I’ll do that! I’ll keep moving forward, I’ll keep imagining, and I’ll see what comes next.

After all, If I don’t believe in myself with confidence, who else will?

Martin Luther King, Jr picture from america’slibrary.gov

Rosa Parks T-shirt image from T-shirt Guru at ChoiceShirts.com

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I was recently at a gathering of women and the word compromise came up.  You  know, “we are having a disagreement, so let’s find a compromise.”  In this context, the word is very positive.  It’s about communication and finding that place where two or more people can come together in a place of peace and understanding.

But there were women bothered by the word compromise.  To them, the word was used in the context of, ‘our position has been compromised’ or ‘the strength of the foundation was compromised’.  In this context, the word tells of something being lost, or lessened.  In using the word this way, there is definitely a down side to compromising.

What a dichotomy!!

I have been consciously trying to negotiate the unique personalities and perspectives in my family of 5 and trying to teach my children the fine art of compromise.  Emphasis on the words fine art.  It truly is an art form to negotiate a compromise. How does one remain strong in his own values, beliefs, and sense of self while at the same time sacrificing a small piece in order to reach compromise; because in compromising with another, we are often required to ‘sacrifice’ something of ourselves, whether it be a share of something, our strength of position, or even our pride.

Healing Tree Image by Eugenia Algaze Garcia

 So how do I negotiate a compromise?

I do it by being a tree.

I create strong roots and a strong trunk as a base, and allow my branches to move and bend.  The strength of a tree is not compromised (lessened) by the flexibility and movement of its branches.  But; a tree will be compromised (it will break or even topple) in a strong wind if it does not have a solid base or if it has too little bend.

I want to live in a world of compromise instead of competition, but how, in reality, do I compromise without compromising myself?  Is it possible? I was raised to be a sacrificial martyr.  I was ‘saintly’ when I put others before me.  To give is better than to receive.  Not bad words to live by, but in always giving first, where does that leave me?   I am not a tree, I am a hole!

In order to truly compromise with others, we must first find and strengthen our own base.  We must know what is truly important to us and stand strong in those truths, while allowing bend and flow at the same time.  We can reach a place of compromise without compromising ourselves in the process.

Yep, that makes sense…I’m going to do that.  But doing it is a lot harder than talking about it.  I know!

My youngest daughter recently received some lotion as a gift and she loves it.  I means loves it!!  She puts in on and pretty much everyone else in the house is bothered by the scent.  We all have expressed our thoughts on this and knowing that she is in the big minority, my daughter still insists that she loves it and wants to wear it even if it bothers everyone else…So, I truly don’t know how to handle this situation.  So far I have let it be and let her be.  But I personally don’t like the smell enough that I want to throw the bottle in the trash when she isn’t looking. I won’t because I know that is not respecting her voice, but what of all the other voices? Do I make her get rid of it for the sake of the majority?  That doesn’t feel right either.  I want my children to have independent voices and feel the freedom to be themselves, and I want to teach them loving respect for others.   But I also want my perspective respected.  I don’t want ‘yucky’ smells in my environment, period.  Where is the place of compromise here without anyone’s voice feeling lessened or sacrificed? How can all our needs be met?

If anyone has any other wisdom around this or any other thoughts on living with compromise I would love to hear it!

Healing Tree Image by Eugenia Algaze Garcia

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Versus

Following up on my post from January 5th:

As I oust the Yeerk from my brain and change the filter, I ask myself, “How does one live a life of cooperation and co-creation instead of competition.

My life has been based on competition.  As one of five children, I had to vie for my parents attention, I competed against other children for the top grades, and played competitive sports for over 20 years.  Upon entering the work force, I had to compete against others for jobs, raises, and promotions.  In the dating scene, I was competing against other women in order to be noticed and asked out by men.  I competed with other buyers for the best house, car, or sale.  When I opened my own business, I was competing for clients, and within my relationships, I had to fight to get my points across and have my voice heard.

Competition!  It is the basis of our world.  As a society, we play competitive sports for trophies, fame, and glory.  We compete for love.  We compete for money.  We compete for recognition and attention.  Our society is based almost solely on competition and achievement.  Competition is everywhere, dividing and separating people. And here’s the thing about competition…when there is one winner, it follows that everyone else is a loser.

Now, I don’t want to say that competition is an entirely bad thing.  Competition does have the power to motivate, allowing one to strive for something better;  however, the world we live in has become too competitive.  We live immersed in a ‘versus’ mentality.  It’s good versus bad, right versus wrong, girls versus boys, us versus them, democrats versus republicans, my needs versus your needs, America versus terrorism and oppression, the people versus the government, big business and profits versus the earth and environment, and on and on and on.

This versus mentality results in separation.  We keep ourselves separate from others because, after all, you don’t want to get too close to the person from whom you will take that promotion; you don’t want to get too close to the person who loses when you win; and you especially don’t want to get too close to the ‘bad’ person  who might taint your sense of goodness.

We live life as if we are on a see-saw.  When one side goes up, the other goes down.  We can prove it! It’s basic physics. But take a moment to ask yourself…What if we could all go up?

What if, instead of focusing on one person going up and the other going down, we focused on raising the entire teeter totter up.  What if everyone could win?

What would our world be like if we lived with an ‘and’ mentality instead of an ‘or’ mentality?  What if instead of me or you achieving a promotion, job, or dream house – me and you did?  What if instead of you or me getting our needs met, we both do?  What if we all could be winners?

To balance this competitive energy in a masculine world we need women!  We need the feminine!

Women…What if we supported one another on our journeys to find love instead of needing to compete with one another out of fear that we will be the one to lose it or not get it in the first place?  What if we trusted that we all would achieve the love that we deserved instead of believing that if we don’t look younger or prettier than the next girl we will lose out?

Women…Let’s stop playing the man’s game and play the woman’s game!  Let’s live our lives cooperatively instead of competitively.  Let’s support all the unique voices and perspectives  that this world has to offer and let’s co-create a world of loving compromise and mutual understanding.  Let’s bring our feminine forward to balance the masculine.  Not to bring the masculine down, but to bring us all up!!!

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The Goddess I Am

Here is a poem that I wrote. I would like to dedicate it to all of us women. We are Goddesses!!

The Goddess I Am

I am a Goddess Bright and Bold
I show the world my face
I walk with pride and speak my truth
Encompassing pure Grace

My body is a temple
I am sacred and divine
Deserving love and pleasure
And all that is sublime

Whether maiden, mother, crone
My Goddess love unfolds
Uniting, bringing ecstasy
Heating up the cold

My beauty unfolds as I play
Creating from my heart
Manifesting wondrous things
My dreams a form of art

I am a priceless precious gem
Many facets sparkling bright
The radiance shines all around
The more I show my light

I’m luscious and magnificent
I’m gloriously me
A Goddess ever powerful
Being all that I can be

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